How Important Are Libraries?

January 22, 2011

The list of libraries threatened with closure in Doncaster has been reduced from 14 to 12, but that’s still 12 too many!

The people who need their local libraries the most – kids and the elderly – don’t usually have the option of popping along to the next town or to the Central Library in Doncaster (and why should they?). Our local branch is earmarked for closure, according to the council it’s ‘underused’ – more like underfunded for the last 20 years! – but there are always people there whenever we visit. (Maybe they should try buying the Mayor tickets for the St Leger, line the right pockets and the council soon finds £200,000 to cut down some trees! 😉 )

Some might argue that the internet is a viable alternative to the library, but reports show that the internet actually discourages Deep Thinking and the development of long term memory.

Some might argue that for Deeper Thinking there’s always our education system. Setting aside the blatantly classist nature of modern education which has left working class males at a distinct disadvantage, there are plenty of people who don’t get on with school, but who have the potential to make a real difference – as this article on the Save Doncaster Libraries blog clearly testifies.

Our mates at the PermaFuture project have already mentioned the incredible story of William Kamkwamba, for whom the library was, quite literally, a lifeline.  On a lighter not there’s the more recent story of Robert Nay, the 14 year old who has created a number 1 free iPhone App.

‘Bubble Ball’ was released on December 29th, 2010, and has already been downloaded more than three million times, knocking Angry Birds off the very competitive top spot. Nay says:

“My friend’s dad suggested I try making an iPhone app and I thought, ‘Why not, that’d be pretty cool,’ so I checked out a book from the library.”

The teenager, from Utah, USA, used library books (and just a bit of help from his mum) to teach himself the code needed to make the app and to give himself the understanding of gravity needed to create an authentic “physics puzzle game”. Now young Bobby is CEO of Nay Industries!

So how important are libraries? VERY BLOODY IMPORTANT!!!

http://savedoncasterlibraries.wordpress.com

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